Vermont artists have been creating work together in Manchester for a hundred years, and the Southern Vermont Arts Center has been at the center of it for decades.
A group of artists called the Dorset painters formed the core of the group in the 1920s. They bought a 400-acre estate in 1950 at the foot of Equinox Mountain, and since then SVAC has grown into a museum across several old New England-style buidings, with art studios, an auditorium that can become open-air or enclosed and a sculpture garden that leads into 100 acres of woodland, with the Green and Taconic mountains all around.
You can wander through galleries of oil paintings of dairy cows out to pasture, glass scupture, fiber art and quilts. You can find classes for children, teens and adults … even a locally made documentary film about an astronaut who has spent hundreds of hours in space.
Musicians perform here, going back to the glory days of Louis Armstrong and his band on tour. And SVAC is opening a new Curate Cafe, run by the team known for the Barrows House Inn and Restaurant, The Dorset Inn and Dorset Rising Bakery and Café.